Social Assistance (Residency Qualification) Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 4

Social Assistance (Residency Qualification) Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 4

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I want to finish by saying tena koutou tena could do did not talk to a couple I’ll call the Honourable Maggie Barry thank you madam Speaker it is with pleasure I rise to talk to the spell a bill that I believe is long overdue it was June last year when the then Prime Minister the Honorable Bill English paid a visit to the Pacific building on a lot of dialogue that has happened over many years as other speakers have indicated as to the usefulness of changing the settings and changing the rules so national support this bill very much I acknowledge the Honorable Henry Poona and others in the gallery whom I’ve spoken to about this situation many times in the last term of government when I was the minister responsible for world war 100 commemorations I learned the stories that Alfred narrow my colleague alluded to just before about the courage and the bravery of the Pacific Islanders who fought and gave their lives for the Commonwealth and I don’t think they were treated particularly fairly at those times but nonetheless they showed great willingness to serve as part of New Zealand and the the wider Commonwealth battles that were going on I think that when we tried to change the settings in 2015 and I was the Minister for seniors at that time it didn’t work as well as we had hoped towards I think we expected it to cost about 5 million it cost about 1 million which showed the uptake was not particularly effective but really what was required and and the message has been coming through loud and clear was that we needed to make it as easy as possible and that 5 plus 50 rule needed to go and there was a letter in April of 2017 of last year the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that based on advice he had received from his officials and the reports that he had had during his own visits to the Cook Islands Niue a and Tokelau the current settings were just not working as well as they had intended to be so clearly more was done and I commend the government and the Minister for carrying through this legislation it has been in a pool thing to do and I acknowledge that I also acknowledge that we needed to do this and we also needed to be fair so as others have indicated there are special categories one of them has special portability so if an individual moves to one of the 22 nominated Pacific nations they can have a proportion of their New Zealand superannuation with them but there is a very special relationship with the Cook Islands Niue a and Tokelau because those people are New Zealand citizens and this bill I think reflects a wider constitutional responsibility that New Zealand has for its citizens living in the Pacific and for them to be able to take their skills take their their the wisdom that they have learned in their time away from their homelands back to those communities to fuel that economic powerhouse but also as the previous speaker indicated the cultural exchange we are richer as nations from having shared your people and and becoming more aware of the issues through the Pacific through having people living here from the three islands and we need to acknowledge that they need to return home at some point and I think it needs to happen at a time when people are able to make a financial contribution through their New Zealand superannuation so on many levels I think that this is an excellent thing to support I don’t intend to take too much more time on this beyond acknowledging the people in this house over many years who have listened to the people of the Pacific and who have heard what has been said and come up with a solution that this entire house supports so that it can be to the betterment of the three Pacific island nations so without hesitation and with pride I come in this bill to the house I called the Honorable Ranma kimono speaker this is a proud day for New Zealand first

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